What is Sprains And Strains?A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bones at a joint. The most common locations for a sprain to occur are knee, ankle, wrist, and thumb
A strain is an injury of a muscle and/or tendon. Tendons are fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone.
The most common types of strains are:
Hamstring strains – the hamstrings are muscles that run down the back of the leg and are connected to the hip and knee joints
Gastrocnemius and soleus strains – the gastrocnemius and soleus are the medical names for the muscles of the calf
Quadriceps strains – the quadriceps are muscles located at the front of the thigh
Lumbar strains – the lumbar muscles are found in the lower back
Recovery TimeFollowing a sprain, or a strain, the length of time that it will take for you to recover will depend on how severe the injury is. Most people with sprain symptoms improve in about 2 weeks. If symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks, additional treatment may be required. In cases of muscle strains, the time it can take to return to sporting activities can range widely, from two weeks to six months.
DiagnosisMild strains and sprains can usually be diagnosed based on a medical history and a physical examination by a health care provider. In cases of more severe strains and sprains, especially when there is weakness or loss of function, an X-ray may be taken to rule out a fractured (broken) or herniated (bulging) disc as the cause of the back pain.
FAQs prepared by doctorQ1. What is sprain and strain?
A sprain is a stretch and/or tear of a ligament (a band of fibrous tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint). One or more ligaments can be injured at the same time. The severity of the injury will depend on the extent of injury (whether a tear is partial or complete) and the number of ligaments involved.
A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon (fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone). Depending on the severity of the injury, a strain may be a simple overstretch of the muscle or tendon, or it can result from a partial or complete tear.
Q2. Who are at risk of such sprain and strain?
Athletes, dancers, and those who perform manual labor commonly suffer such injuries. The risk of sprains and strains increases with obesity and poor muscular conditioning.
Q3. How much time it takes to recover?
Following a sprain, or a strain, the length of time that it will take for you to recover will depend on how severe the injury is. Most people with sprain symptoms improve in about 2 weeks. If symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks, additional treatment may be required.
In cases of muscle strains, the time it can take to return to sporting activities can range widely, from two weeks to six months
Q4. What shall one do when there is sprain and strain?
One shall protect the injured area from further injury, by using a support. Rest the sprained or strained area. Ice should be done for 20 minutes every hour. Never put ice directly against the skin or it may damage the skin. Use a thin cloth for protection. Thereby compress by wrapping an elastic (Ace) bandage or sleeve lightly (not tightly) around the injured area and elevate the area above heart level
Do not Heat the injured part, consume Alcohol, Run or Massage the part.
Q5. When shall one consult a doctor?
One shall meet a doctor immediately when pain, swelling, redness or numbness over the injured part builds up. When sprain, or strain, does not improve as expected for example and one still find walking difficult or the symptoms get worse, such as increased pain, or swelling then one should take consultation.